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Monday,  May 20, 2024 9:38 PM 

On Location: ACV celebrates "superhero" agents; TTAND honours top performers, suppliers


On Location: ACV celebrates "superhero" agents; TTAND honours top performers, suppliers
TTAND Founder Flemming Friisdahl (top) joins forces with his and Air Canada Vacations' teams at Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres in Mexico. (Pax Global Media)
Michael Pihach

Michael Pihach is an award-winning journalist with a keen interest in digital storytelling. In addition to PAX, Michael has also written for CBC Life, Ryerson University Magazine, IN Magazine, and DailyXtra.ca. Michael joins PAX after years of working at popular Canadian television shows, such as Steven and Chris, The Goods and The Marilyn Denis Show.

The outdoor theatre at Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres became an exclusive headquarters for powerful travel pros last Friday (April 21) as Air Canada Vacations (ACV) hosted a wild superhero-themed party for agents and suppliers attending The Travel Agent Next Door’s (TTAND’s) national conference, “Breaking Barriers Together,” in Costa Mujeres, Mexico.

Donning masks, capes and fake mustaches, attendees took a break from the conference’s sessions at Majestic Elegance Costa Mujeres, just up the road, to enjoy Grand Palladium’s “Cabaret Chic” show, a high-energy spectacle of singing and dance that, at one point, promoted attendees to form a conga line in the aisles.

Notable costumes included the “Flemmcredibles” – a group concept that combined TTAND Founder Flemming Friisdahl with Pixar’s The Incredibles – a Ted Lasso double (courtesy of David Green from Adventures), Freyja Warriors (led by Viking’s Jordana Botting) and a Penny Martin (TTAND’s vintage-wearing VP of travel agent services) look-alike (created by travel advisor Judith Coates).

READ MORE: Jacques Gilbert, days before retirement, attends his last conference

Coates (as Penny), at one point, winked at event photographer Dan Galbraith (Penny's husband), who, in a state of confusion, uttered: "I don't know what to do." 

From left: Judith Coates as Penny Martin; Dan Galbraith, Details Group. (Pax Global Media)

The “Flemmcredibles” arrive at Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres. (Pax Global Media)

Spotted wearing t-shirts that read “travel advisors are our superheroes” were ACV’s Ana Paula De Souza, director of sales, and Krista Rothfuchs, who was recently named an area sales manager for independent advisors, overseeing the new ACV@Home program.

“We’re here to celebrate, with everyone, and thank agents for joining us on this journey,” De Souza told PAX, noting how ACV@Home was created during the pandemic, and how TTAND participated in the program’s pilot phase.

From left: G Adventures' David Green; Majestic Resorts' Rod Hanna, Royal Irish Tours' Jonathan Sargeant. (Pax Global Media)

ACV@Home is a dedicated support program for independent travel advisors that provides assistance, new tools, and training to help grow a strong and dynamic community for travel pros working from home.

READ MORE: TTAND’s 10-year anniversary conference will be held in Jordan

Rothfuchs said travel advisors have “absolutely been superheroes” recently, especially during the pandemic shutdown.

From left (of ACV): Krista Rothfuchs, Matthew Djorsev and Ana Paula De Souza. (Pax Global Media)

“Home-based advisors are a force to be reckoned with,” she said. “They’ve grown substantially, they’re so important to the industry.”

On ACV@Home, in particular, Rothfuchs said it was important to “recognize those who are home-based or work independently to make sure they’re supported.”

READ MORE: “Takeaways for everybody”: TTAND's “Breaking Barriers” conference wraps up in Mexico

“We created a program for independent advisors to give them more support, better training, and dedicated attention from one area sales manager that they can rely on,” she said.

“There’s a lot of ambition within the home-based advisor environment. They’re entrepreneurs, they’re their own brand, they work for themselves.”

Viking’s Jordana Botting (centre) and her Freyja Warriors at Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres. (Pax Global Media)

Visit and "like" PAX's Facebook page here to see more pictures from the event!

And the award goes to...

TTAND’s conference, which concluded on Sunday (April 23) attracted 241 travel advisors and 67 suppliers from 42 companies – its largest turnout to date.

Form left (of TTAND): Founder & President Flemming Friisdahl; Penny Martin, VP, travel agent services. (Pax Global Media)

The success of its TTAND’s advisors were celebrated Sunday night (April 23) at a dinner and gala, at Majestic Elegance, where magicians, dance troupes, as well as Toronto-based singer Roberta Battaglia, of TV’s America’s Got Talent, dazzled the crowd. 

The team at Majestic Resorts, at that dinner, also gave all agents in attendance a complimentary seven-night stay at any Majestic property of their choice, which led to an eruption of joyful whoos and cheers. 

Travel pros attend TTAND's dinner and gala at Majestic Elegance Costa Mujeres in Mexico. (Pax Global Media)

Several awards were announced throughout the week, including honours for suppliers. Here's a summary of who earned what. 

TTAND Agent Awards for 2022

2022
Highest Insurance Close Ratio
Primary Agent
Kyla Coe
2022
Highest Insurance Close Ratio
Silver/Gold Agent
Jennifer Jones
2022
Highest Insurance Close Ratio
Agency
Jill DeTonnancour
2022
Highest Insurance Close Ratio
Associate Agent
Julia MacCormack




2022
Highest Insurance Revenue
Primary Agent
Kyla Coe
2022
Highest Insurance Revenue
Silver/Gold Agent
Melissa Baum
2022
Highest Insurance Revenue
Agency
Garth Layden
2022
Highest Insurance Revenue
Associate
Frances Gertsch

2022
Highest Average Rate of Commission
Primary Agent
Danny Hoag
2022
Highest Average Rate of Commission
Silver/Gold Agent
Jennifer Jones
2022
Highest Average Rate of Commission
Agency
Stewart Travel Group
2022
Highest Average Rate of Commission
Associate Agent
Amanda Katchutas

2022
Highest Earned Commission
Primary Agent
Danny Hoag
2022
Highest Earned Commission
Silver/Gold Agent
Melissa Baum
2022
Highest Earned Commission
Agency
Stewart Travel Group
2022
Highest Earned Commission
Associate Agent
Katherine MacKinnon




2022
Highest % of Preferred/Approved Suppliers
Primary Agent
Kyla Coe
2022
Highest % of Preferred/Approved Suppliers
Silver/Gold Agent
Melissa Baum
2022
Highest % of Preferred/Approved Suppliers
Agency
Stewart Travel Group
2022
Highest % of Preferred/Approved Suppliers
Associate Agent
Katherine MacKinnon
2022
Ambassador Star Award -highest number of business referrals

Gail Donovan
2022
Peer to Peer Star Award - voted by agents for peer to peer suppport

Arlene Gibbons


Agents who won supplier awards

Supplier
Supplier Full Name
Top Seller
5Continents
David Boigne
Toni Linde | Luxury Vacation : highest sale
Garth Layden | Elevation Travel : Loyalty & Ambassador price
Travis Stewart | Stewart Travel Group : best sales increase
Wendy Weir : Best special interests group agent
Adventure Canada
Martin Aldrich
Lise Coghlan
Air Canada
Chantal Podgorski
Mike Gilmore - Top Producer
Air Canada Vacations
Krista Rothfuchs
Melanie Price
AmaWaterways
Sandra Gardiner
Travis Stewart - Top Producer
Avalon - Globus family of brands
Hilary Brown
Top Group performer: TRAVIS STEWART
Top Individual Sales Performer: LISA SHELLEY
Bedsonline
Tommy Ryder
Lori Oschanney - Top Producer
Celebrity Cruises
Brenda Yeomans
Jeffrey Cohen - Top Seller - Not at Conference
Anna Abbandonato - Mega Star - Yes at conference
Maizy Alexander - Rising Star
CIE Tours
Jennifer Bond
Shelley Cota - Top Producer
Collette
Danielle Martins
Theresa Winchester – Top Performer
 Melissa Willows – Rising Star
G Adventures
David Green
Chen Yu - Top Seller
Vicky Young - Rising Star
Gateways International Tailor-made Tours
Martha Tavio
Stewart Travel Group   - Top Agency
Theresa Winchester   Top Agent
 Rachel Stewart  - Fastest Rising Agent
Goway Travel Ltd
Rares Dumitru
Kyla Coe - Top Producer
Hurtigruten Expeditions
Kristin Erz
Cynthia Davidson with the 2022 Hurtigruten Ambassador Award
Insight Vacations & Luxury Gold
Jenni Berg
Lynn Alexander - Top Producer
Just You
Sarah Weetman
Marcia Proctor - Top Producer
Norwegian Cruise Line
Cindy Girard
Lee Ann Jensen - Top Performer
Scott Penney - Top Perfomer
Gillian Freedman - Top Performer
Oceania Cruises
Kathryne Gordon Cuthbertson
Top Sales Canada is Christine Mc Farlane of Regal Cruises

Top Sales Eastern Region is Lise Coghlan of Lise Travel Boutique.

Top Sales Western Region is Heather Lavender
Playa Hotels & Resorts
Freddie Marsh
Amanda Rauh
Project Expedition
Rob Keen
Cindy Almond
Railbookers
Cris David
Cathy Wiechnik - Top Producer
Victoria Lawson - Top Producer
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Beverley Vickers
Garth Layden of Elevation Travel - booked/sailed 33 suites in 2022
Royal Caribbean International
Eric St-Pierre
Amy Davoli - Top Producer - not attending
Gail Donovan - Rising Star - attending
Royal Irish Tours
Jonathan Sargeant
Wendy Weir - Top Producer - not at Conference
Judith Coates - Rising Star - at conference
Sandals & Beaches Resorts (Unique Vacations Canada Inc.)
C.J Smith
Camilla Schelle - Top Producer 2022
Seabourn
Maxine Gundermann
Christine McFarlane - Top Producer
Silversea Cruises
Markian (Mark) Dzerowycz
Sandra Mcleod
Tourcan Vacations
Phillip Solomon
Wendi Gladstone - Top Producer
Leon Vainer - Rising Star
Transat
Nicole Bursey
Sylvette Deveau  - Top Producer
CINDY ALMOND - Top Producer


TravelBrands
Bruce Lidberg
Maria Garcia - Top Producer
Viking Cruises
Jordana Botting
Kyla Coe - Top Producer
Serina Bowles - Rising Star
Michelle Hayward
WestJet Airlines
Danielle Terrazas
Mary Jane Hiebert - Top Producer
WestJet Vacations
Sevi Anagnostis
Shelley Cota - Top Producer


TTAND's 2022 supplier award winners 

Best overall "All-inclusive for sun packages": Air Canada Vacations

Best overall "Escorted Group Touring": G Adventures

Best overall "Ocean Cruise": Celebrity Cruises

Best overall "River Cruise": AmaWaterways

Best overall "FIT": Goway

Best overall "Hotel/Resort": AMR Collection (now known as the Inclusive Collection by World of Hyatt).

Best overall "Specialty Product": Project Expeditions

Best overall "Preferred Supplier": Air Canada Vacations

Best overall "Approved Supplier": Goway 


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